Saltwater Church Newsletter January 26, 2024

We offer worship in two ways: in-person multi-platform service held in our sanctuary and online in our Church Zoom Room at 10:30am. Doors and Zoom open at 10:15. To join the Church Zoom Room go to: You can find more information about how to connect through Zoom towards the end of our Saltwater Church Newsletter. Our newsletter also provides ways to connect and live our values through both in-person programming and via our Church Zoom Room.


Live multi-platform worship in the sanctuary and online through Zoom!

Theme for January: Liberating Love

Liberating love is our heritage as Unitarian Universalists, and practicing that love is part of our mission at Saltwater Church. Our Universalist ancestors believed that God was too loving to condemn anyone to hell, and today the social justice arm of the Unitarian Universalist Association is called “Side with Love” because we understand our social justice advocacy work as bringing liberating love into being in the world. Join us in January to explore the gift of liberating love in our past, present and future.

Worship In January at Saltwater Church

January 28 Love is at the Center – Janeane Weprin, Saltwater Church Member

Love is at the Center, here at Saltwater, and love is at my center. Love is my spiritual truth. It is everywhere, in everything, and in everyone. We are all connected in, and by, love. And we practice love at Saltwater. Our intention is to manifest love in everything we do. Come, let us celebrate love together.

Worship In February at Saltwater Church

February 4 Celebrating Imbolc: The Promise of Spring’s Return – Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (remote) (multigenerational service)

Join Saltwater Church’s Covenant of UU Pagans and Rev. Alison to honor the cross-quarter holy day of Imbolc, halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. At this time, sacred to the Celtic Goddess Brigit, we begin to see evidence around us that Spring is coming even in the heart of Winter. Let us come together to sing of Spring’s return even through the Winter rains.

Upcoming Events

To view our complete calendar of events, click here.
If you wish to schedule an event, click here to fill out a request form.

Stop the Bleed Training
Saturday January 27, 10:00am – 12:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

This free 2-hour class, originally intended as a follow up to the basic First Aid training, is now open to anyone in our congregation! Learn what you can do to stabilize a situation after traumatic injury, until the experts arrive. Please join us. In times of fear and trauma, your actions can save a life. If you plan to attend, please fill out this form just so we have an estimate of how to set up. There is no charge.

Neighborhood Potlucks
January 27 and 28, 6:00pm – 8:00pm(ish)

Get to know your Saltwater neighbors at Neighborhood Potlucks, the weekend of January 27 & 28. Enjoy conversation over a shared meal, leading to deeper connection in our church community. It’s also fun! Sign up here or look for sign-up forms at coffee hour after service. ****image credit: Fauxels

Coffee & Care with a Lay Minister
Sunday January 28, 11:30am
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

After the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays in January (1/14 & 1/28) one of our lay ministers will be available in-person in the Sanctuary to talk one-on-one with anyone who needs some support. Get your coffee or tea in the Welcoming Room, and then peek into the Sanctuary. If the lay minister has an open chair, please come in, sit down, and receive the benefit of compassionate listening from a trained lay minister. ****image credit: Jack Sparrow

“Building a Bridge to Belonging” with Rev. Jennifer Alviar
Tuesday January 30, 12:00pm

Rev. Jennifer Alviar joined us for our neurodiversity panel last Sunday, January 21, and the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (BIAWA) will be featuring a free online talk by Rev. Jennifer via Zoom next Tuesday, 1/30 at 12pm. Rev. Jennifer will be discussing the Kubota Garden’s role in serving as a restorative space for brain injury survivors and their caregivers, as well as people in the larger community. She will also be addressing issues of equity, accessibility, inclusion, belonging and healing for people of all abilities. 

If you’re interested, you can learn more about Rev. Jennifer’s upcoming talk and register here: There will be a Q&A after the presentation. All are welcome to sign up and attend to learn more about her positive bridge-building efforts to connect faith communities like SWUUC with healthcare communities like BIAWA and environmental communities like the Kubota Garden. 

Online New Member Class
Saturday February 3, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Are you ready to become a member of Saltwater UU Church? Have you been visiting the church and wanting to learn more? Our new member class is a necessary step to membership, offered by Rev. Alison online on February 3 in the Church Zoom Room from 1-3pm. RSVP to Hope to see you there!

New Staff Announcement

Welcome Ariel, Saltwater Church’s New Pianist!

We are so delighted that pianist Ariel Candies has joined our staff team.

Hailing from the great state of Idaho, Ariel Candies is a creative and an ambivert who believes in the transformative powers of music.  Ariel grew up in a wonderfully creative and inventive family with parents who performed in choirs and various singing groups, a mother who was a prolific painter and brother who performed in various orchestras starting at a very young age. As a child her continued exposure to a wide and diverse range of genres and artists led her to develop her own eclectic tastes in music, despite being a classically trained pianist.  Despite having a diverse and varied job history, nothing has been as rewarding as teaching and playing music. When she isn’t teaching piano, she spends time with her two daughters who especially enjoy art, listening to stories, and spending time outdoors.

Ariel has been filling in at the piano in December and the beginning of January, so she’s become a familiar face at Saltwater Church, and we’re so grateful that she’s agreed to become our long-term pianist. 

Save the Date

Quiet Connections (Newcomer and Visitor Team Conversations)
1st Sundays, 11:30am – 12:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

Join us on February 4. If the Welcoming Room is too busy for you, or you are enjoying the conversations that start there, but would like to deepen them, the Newcomer and Visitor Team is offering “Quiet Connections” with the OG (original gang) in the Sanctuary to welcome both new folks and the longer-term members. We want to get to know you, invite you to get to know us, on a bit quieter, deeper, and more intimate level. This is a no-commitment, no schedule kind of offer. FREE! No expiration date, and no purchase required!! Just show up, and a few snacks and drinks are provided. ****image credit: Matt Barnard

Youth Bake Sale
Sunday February 11, 11:30am-12:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Prepare your tummy and your wallets. The youth are baking! All proceeds go to our youth funds to provide camp assistance, fun events, and fuel their future plans. Feb 11th will be a chance to get to know our youth group and their baking talents. Pre-order now and you will receive your treat on February 11, freshly made the night before delivery. Pre-Order with any youth on Sunday morning and next week we will open up online orders. Stock up for easy gifts for those that make a difference in your life. ****Image credit: Patrick Leigh

Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization
February 26-March 11, Mondays and Thursdays 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization Offered Again–Don’t Miss Out! Saltwater’s Sound Alliance is again offering a series of these workshops this February and March (February 26, 29 and March 4, 7, 11 from 6-8pm) in the Church Zoom Room. Our goal is to have all members participate in this training (many already have) that lovingly but unabashedly helps us confront the historical and lingering effects of discrimination, governmental policies, and prejudice that mark our nation’s history with First Peoples of our area. Contact Diane Dobrowolski ( or Lucia Faithful ( to sign up. Space is limited. January 30 from 5-7pm or February 8 from 2-4pm are set aside for training previous participants to serve as small group facilitators during the evening workshops.

“Set Boundaries, Find Peace” Book Discussion
Starts February 21 (online) and February 25 (in-person)
In Person and Faith Formation Zoom Room

Setting and maintaining clear boundaries is an important way that we create healthy relationships in our lives and communities, and the Healthy Congregation Team wants to help us learn and practice these important skills. Visit our online sign-up form HERE or fill out the paper form on Sunday before church to indicate your interest and expect to hear back from us with more details in February.

  • (online) 3rd Wednesdays of February, March and April (21st, 20th, 17th) at 7:00pm
  • (in-person) Sunday February 25 and March 24 at 12:00pm, and April 21 at 1:00pm as part of Faith Formation Sunday

Pacific Western Region UUA Regional Assembly
Friday April 19 and Saturday April 20

This multi-day conference is centered on connecting across individuals, congregations, and regions. Attendees may attend in person in Denver, Colorado or Madison, Wisconsin or online. Registration for in-person attendance closes on April 12. For more information and to register, go to:

Saltwater Church RETREAT 2024!
Friday April 26 – Sunday April 28
Off-Site – Seabeck Conference Center

RETREAT PLANNING is in full swing! Saphronia Young is the housing and administrative lead; Miriam Woito and Jessica Alexander are the programming leads. If you need to ask Saphronia about housing availability, schedule, budget, logistics, and scholarships…please do! If you are interested in helping with programming or would like to know more about what is on offer…ask Miriam Woito and Jessica Alexander. Please start thinking about pet care (only service animals on the campus); budget (it can be pricey for a family, so start setting aside small sums and considering if a scholarship request is needed), carpooling (there is limited parking available and traveling together is part of the experience!), whether to bring your kayaks and tennis gear (YES!)….we play together the last weekend in April at Seabeck Conference Center.

From Our Leadership

From our Treasurer2023 Tax Statements

If you would like a statement for tax purposes showing your contributions for calendar year 2023, please contact Gaye Greeves, Treasurer, at or 253-508-3961. They are sent out to those people requesting them. Thank you!

From our Board of Directors

Our community is such a beautiful center of energy, such a positive force! You can feel it on Sunday mornings (especially in person) … and throughout the week, if you’re involved in any of the many activities. As you see all that has been done and what’s to come, we invite you to imagine yourself bringing your gifts and presence to continue strengthening our community. With that in mind,

  • please click here to provide some information about yourself and your interests. This will help us get better at connecting with each other, and matching interests and activities.

Together, we can care for each other, make the world a better place, and have fun! 

Minister’s Messages

Interested in participating in a Saltwater sci-fi/fantasy book club? Email Rev. Alison at and read the Minister’s Message to learn how Rev. Alison finds meaning in speculative fiction. You can read Rev. Alison’s messages via the home page of the church website or here: Minister’s Messages

Rev. Alison’s next in-person visit to Saltwater Church is from Sunday, February 18 – 25.

Ways to connect with Rev. Alison
Phone (voice only): (206) 627-5119
Online Meeting Scheduling:

Volunteer Opportunities

Your Community Needs YOU!
Volunteer Now

We invite you to take part in creating the kind of community that you want to be part of! We need volunteers of all skills and ages. Opportunities include:

Sunday Morning Opportunities: Contact Bubba ( if you’re interested & need to get training/ orientation. For job details click here.

Sunday Morning Opportunities

  • Usher
  • Digital Usher
  • Greeter
  • Welcome Kiosk
  • Worship Assistant
  • A/V Desk Assistant
  • Multigenerational Activities Assistant

Other Opportunities

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Private Zoom Room

Our Safety Taskforce encourages members of our community to join in discussions about our facilities and community. Common topics include building safety, necessary upgrades to our facilities, and emergency planning. We are beginning multiple new projects and welcome your knowledge and skills. Join our monthly meeting to learn how you can lend a hand. The next meeting is February 8. For more information or to attend, please contact Diane Schairer at

Facilities Team
3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Our Facilities Team helps organize the maintenance of our buildings and the upkeep of our grounds. We are looking for volunteers to help contact contractors, manage coordinating repairs, and assist with volunteer events. Our meetings are monthly, and your time commitment is quite flexible. Discover how you can help support our community by attending our next meeting on February 21. ***Image credit: Bubba 

Ways To Live Our Values

Share The Plate for January
Federal Way Day Center

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of January will be shared with Federal Way Day Center.

With the active involvement of Saltwater UU Church, the Federal Way Day Center opened in December 2016. It provides a welcoming space to adults who are homeless and vulnerably housed. The Day Center offers showers, laundry, computers, phones, mail reception services, space for meal preparation, and access to health care and social services. Case Management services and Family-Only hours are also offered. Remember, our funds are matched so your contribution is doubled!

You can make a donation to share the plate through the donate button on our website or mail a check to the church office with “basket” in the memo line: Saltwater UU Church, 25701 14 Pl S., Des Moines, WA 98198. ****Image credit: Kindel Media

Pajama Making Party
1st Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Please join Sally Caldwell and others to Sew for Social Justice. We make pajama bottoms and receiving blankets for local charities including Hospitality House and the Pediatric Interim Care Center. If you have a sewing machine, please bring it. Everything else will be provided. Don’t have a sewing machine or know how to sew? Please feel free to join us to cut out patterns and help with other tasks. Our next meet up will be February 6. ****Image credit: Evg Kowalievska

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
1st Fridays, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on February 2. Our Racial Justice Organizing Team meets monthly to discuss more ways to support our community in our anti-racism efforts. We share ideas, provide support, learn about additional opportunities, plan events for our members, and work together to advance our commitment to Act for Racial Justice. ****image credit: Diva Plavalaguna

next alliance meeting

Sound Alliance
2nd Saturdays, 10:00am – 11:30am
Church Zoom Room

The Sound Alliance team works on multiple issues in alignment with our commitment to Social Justice. The issues we focus on change from year to year, depending upon the concerns voiced by members of the congregation. All members and friends of Saltwater UU Church and Bet Chaverim are most welcome to join us in our conversations and Act for Social Justice. Our next meeting will be on February 10.

Stance for Racial Justice
2nd & 4th Sundays, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Des Moines & Puyallup

Rain or shine, we Stand for Racial Justice two Sundays a month.  Join us as we stand together in solidarity with our signs for justice. Our next gathering will be on January 28 in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant).

We will meet again on February 11 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas). Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
3rd Thursdays, 6:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Mark your calendar–The February SCAN! meeting will be Thursday, February 15 at 6:30pm. Join us then! Contact Sheri Jacobson at for additional information. It’s never too late to Act for Climate Justice.

***Landfill image credit: Tom Fisk

Climate Message of the Week

We Americans are the world’s biggest consumers. According to author Annie Leonard, “In the US, we spend 3 to 4 times as many hours shopping as our counterpart in Europe do!” Leonard also writes that only 1% of the materials used to produce consumer goods (including the goods themselves) are still used six months after the date of sale. Maybe that’s why the annual emissions of a typical American are five times higher than the world’s average person. This level of consumption is devastating for the planet. To be smart citizens and savvy consumers we need to understand what we’re up against. In the US, we’re exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day, up almost five times from the 1970s. Powerful industries spend billions of dollars to persuade us that buying and consuming are the way to happiness even though polls indicate that Americans’ level of happiness has declined. Next week’s Climate Message will have ideas for right-sizing consumption.

Are there topics or questions you’d like to see covered in future Climate Messages? Email suggestions to Sheri Jacobson at

Ways to Connect

If you are planning to host an event in the Church Zoom Room please contact our Office Administrator ( the day before your scheduled event. They will need to verify your device has been registered to use the Church Zoom Room.

Weekly Meetings

Al-Anon Support Group
Private Zoom, contact for link
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Meditation Group 
Church Zoom Room

Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
For the fall and winter months we will be meeting over Zoom. We follow a UU modified Zen practice that includes lighting a candle, chiming a singing bowl, sitting & walking in silence, listening to words of wisdom, sharing tea and conversation. Would you like to join our group? Contact Jean Spohn or (206) 200-7524.
Writers Group 
Church Zoom Room
Wednesdays, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Do you like to write? Would you like to share and receive feedback on your writing? We welcome all writers at all levels! For more information, contact Janeane Weprin (630) 824-8343 or

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night Sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SWUUSC)
In Person – Welcoming Room

1st and 3rd Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Join our Saltwater community for an evening of fun. Friends and visitors are welcome. We play all types of board games (ranging from lighter games like Clue to more complex games like Pandemic.) Our group also plays thematic games, card games, and party & social games. Almost anything is possible! Bring your favorite game and let us know about it. Our next meet up will be February 3.
  • 1st Saturdays are all-ages. Bring a game your whole family will enjoy! 
  • 3rd Saturdays, childcare will be available upon request. Please rsvp for childcare at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at

Monthly Meetings

Paint n’ Sip
In Person – Welcoming Room
***Now on 2nd Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
All ages welcome! Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. Our next meet up is February 12. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at If you would like childcare, send a request at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at
Movie Night
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

2nd Wednesdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Join us at the movies! February 14 is our next movie night. Bring a snack to share. All are welcome, no need to RSVP. Send questions to Robert at If you would like childcare, send a request at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at
Saltwater Genealogy Club
Church Zoom Room
2nd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Do you love to talk about your family history and research? Saltwater Church has a Genealogy Club! We are not experts; we just share stories and research ideas. Our next meeting will be February 14. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
Faith Formation Sunday
In Person – Saltwater Church
3rd Sundays, 10:30am-2:00pm
Join us for fun, growth, and belonging as we delve deeper into the monthly Soul Matters themes our worship is built on. Faith Formation Sunday includes worship, lunch (sometimes potluck), then age-specific programming (adults, youth, and children). Our next gathering is February 18. Please bring a generous dish to share for our potluck lunch. Questions? Contact Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at
Creative Hands
In Person – Welcoming Room

3rd Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Bring your knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, or whatever with you. We gather to foster connection through sharing our creative processes. We also support the Saltwater community with small craft projects throughout the year. Our next meet up will be February 20. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
Pair Sharing by Zoom
Janeane’s Zoom Room
One Sunday a month, 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Discover the healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. If you would like to attend, please contact Janeane Weprin at

Support Is Available

Do you need support? Please let us know, we want to help. Are you feeling lonely or isolated? We can connect you with a lay minister or another member of the congregation. If you have been affected by the pandemic financially, the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is available for one-time emergency support for members and friends of the church. Contact our Office Administrator for additional information

If you are in need of emotional or spiritual support, you can reach out directly to a Lay Minister:
Debra Valpey:
Toska Rodriguez:
Jean Spohn:

Multigenerational Faith Formation

Questions about Children’s and Youth Programming? Contact our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash: To join the Faith Formation Zoom Room go to:

Middle and High School Youth Group Game Night
1st Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Join us at the Tabletop Family Game Night on February 3. Youth are encouraged to come hang out and play some games! Bring a favorite game to share. If you wish to try out a new game, we have a wide selection that will leave your brain and belly tired. Laughter and popcorn provided.

Middle and High School Youth Baking for the Future!
Saturday February 10, 4:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

We are gathering Saturday, February 10 at 4:00pm to start baking for the Youth Bake sale. All proceeds go to our youth funds to provide camp assistance, fun events, and what the youth choose to do in the future together. This fundraising has all the best parts: yummy snacks, time together, baking for a purpose, and preparing for a future yet to be created. Banter with us over the batter that we create together, create treats that tempt, and find joy in community. Join us as we work together to raise funds that provide support for our program. ****Image credit: Leigh Patrick

Faith Formation Sundays – Elementary and Youth
3rd Sundays, 10:30am – 2:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Church

Join us the 3rd Sunday of every month for an extended day of fun, growth, and belonging tied to our monthly Soul Matters themes. Faith Formation Sundays include elementary and youth programming during and after worship with lunch in-between. Elementary children join our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash. Youth Group meets with their advisors. Our next meet up is Sunday, February 18 where we will explore the theme of justice and equity. Please bring a generous dish to share for our potluck. ****Image credit: Jessica Nash

pUUget Sound Youth Con (for High School Youth)
Saturday March 2 – Sunday March 3
In-Person – Shoreline UU Church

The pUUget Sound Youth Conference is back! In the past, youth conferences (aka youth cons) were a HUGE part in the lives of UU youth in WA/OR and around the entire country – kids would literally fly down from Alaska to come to youth cons, they were that cool!

So…what are they? Youth cons are weekend-long gatherings of UU high school students from many churches in the area. During a con, you’ll meet new people, play games, be silly, have good food, learn new things from each other in workshops, maybe participate in a talent (or no-talent) show, have a candlelit worship at night where you would connect on a deeper level with your new friends, often stay up super late (though you don’t have to), and generally create a temporary “UUtopian” society!

So why did cons stop? Simple: COVID. But now we’re ready to get them going again! Our first one will not be a whole weekend – instead we’re starting with a single overnight that goes from 11am on Saturday, March 2 to 11am on Sunday, March 3. This will be happening at Shoreline UU Church, just north of Seattle. Youth from about ten churches will have full run of the church the entire time! We want to expand our community of youth! We want all the youth we can find!!!

Come explore play and connect with our community of Youth. Find the excitement of new friends and lifelong connections that can be created at such a place of belonging and understanding. Registration is open NOW and closes on February 16. If you have any questions about this event, reach out to Chris Pollina at

Register at:

Support for Children, Youth, & Families

Parents Facebook Group 

Connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group:

Childcare for Church Events 

Childcare may be requested for any church activity at least one week in advance by contacting our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at We will do our best to make accommodations whenever possible.

General Information

How to Access the Church Zoom Room 

To access Zoom, go to and click on “To join a meeting-click here.” Or from the main church webpage, select Zoom Room from the drop-down menu under “news and events” on the top menu bar. If this is your first time using Zoom, follow the prompts to download the application to your computer.

If you would prefer to join by phone, dial 1-669-900-6833 and enter Meeting ID: 736 142 4210 when prompted. You may need a password. If you do not have the password, please contact Bubba:

If you have a smartphone, you can download the Zoom app and join with Meeting ID: 736 142 4210 for video and audio connection. You will need a password. If you do not have the password, please contact our Office Administrator:

A quick guide for our Zoom room can be found here. Feel free to download the file to keep a copy readily available at your fingertips.

Saltwater Church Building

The church building has opened for in person gatherings. If you wish to plan an event, please use our online request form:  All gatherings are asked to follow the current COVID-19 guidelines. If you have questions about the guidelines or need assistance, our Office Assistant is on-site Tuesdays and Fridays, 9am to 2pm. If you need on-site assistance outside of their regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment.

Donations to Saltwater Church

When making a donation on the church website (click here), please indicate where you want your donation to go. After entering the amount of your donation, if you select “Donate with a Debit or Credit Card” you will see a line which starts with a pencil and has “add special instructions to the seller.” Please click on those words to specify “pledge” or your desired purpose. It will help our treasurer get money into the right places if that line is filled in. If you have questions, email or call our Treasurer, Gaye Greeves at or 253-508-3961.   

Please Note: Announcements, updates, and additions to the newsletter must be received by noon Wednesday to be included in that week’s newsletter. Send your submissions to the website form (click here)